Hypoxia: A key player in antitumor immune response. A review in the theme: Cellular responses to hypoxia

Muhammad Zaeem Noman, Meriem Hasmim, Yosra Messai, Stéphane Terry, Claudine Kieda, Bassam Janji, Salem Chouaib*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

295 Citations (Scopus)


The tumor microenvironment is a complex system, playing an important role in tumor development and progression. Besides cellular stromal components, extracellular matrix fibers, cytokines, and other metabolic mediators are also involved. In this review we outline the potential role of hypoxia, a major feature of most solid tumors, within the tumor microenvironment and how it contributes to immune resistance and immune suppression/tolerance and can be detrimental to antitumor effector cell functions. We also outline how hypoxic stress influences immunosuppressive pathways involving macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, T regulatory cells, and immune checkpoints and how it may confer tumor resistance. Finally, we discuss how microenvironmental hypoxia poses both obstacles and opportunities for new therapeutic immune interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C569-C579
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Antitumor immune response
  • Autophagy
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypoxia-inducible factor
  • Immune suppression
  • Lymphoid cells
  • Myeloid cells
  • Programmed death-ligand 1
  • Tumor microenvironment


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